Consumption of raw vegetables and fruits: a risk factor for Campylobacter infections

L. Verhoeff-Bakkenes, H.A.P.M. Jansen, P.H. in 't Veld, R.R. Beumer, M.H. Zwietering, F.M. van Leusden

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47 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter in fresh vegetables and fruits at retail level in the Netherlands, and to estimate its implications on the importance of vegetables and fruits as risk factor for campylobacteriosis. Thirteen of the 5640 vegetable and fruit samples were Campylobacter positive, resulting in a prevalence of 0.23% (95% confidence interval (Cl): 0.12–0.39%). The prevalence of packaged products (0.36%, 95% Cl: 0.17–0.66) was significantly higher than of unpackaged products (0.07; 95% Cl: 0.01–0.27). No statistical differences were found between seasons. Combining the mean prevalence found in this study with data on the consumption of vegetables and fruits, an exposure of 0.0048 campylobacters ingested per person per day in the Netherlands by transmission via vegetables and fruits, was calculated. This exposure, as input in a Beta-Poisson dose–response model, resulted in an estimated number of 5.3 × 105 cases of infection with Campylobacter per year for the whole Dutch population. This constitutes the consumption of raw vegetables and fruits, especially when packaged, to be a risk factor for Campylobacter infections
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-412
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • eat salad vegetables
  • fresh produce
  • microbiological quality
  • retail establishments
  • organic vegetables
  • public-health
  • new-zealand
  • jejuni
  • survival
  • foods


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